Visits to the mainland by the big guns of the fashion world - and stunning catwalk shows at iconic locations such as the Great Wall and the Bund in Shanghai - have become almost commonplace these days. The major designer brands of the world are opening stores galore throughout the nation and predict more dynamic growth ahead. To back up that commitment, major designers and celebrities associated with the famous labels are increasingly making personal visits. In some case, the brands have even brought out special lines with strong China elements, intended to woo big-spending fashionistas. The French fashion company Hermes even went as far as launching a special China brand, Shang Xia - a newly opened boutique in Shanghai showcases the clothing, shoes, tableware and home furnishings. Earlier this year, Christian Dior staged an extravaganza on the Bund promenade, an event that attracted the local glitterati, along with French film star Marion Cotillard who stars in the minimovie Lady Blue Shanghai, made by auteur David Lynch as homage to the city and to Dior, which has 25 boutiques in 12 different Chinese cities. Making a promotional movie to go with a China product launch has become a must. Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld also went behind the lens to make a film for the launch of the Paris-Shanghai collection. The outlay on such projects is enormous - and so are the potential financial rewards, as people in the world's second largest economy grow richer and become shoppers who want the real designer deal, not cheap knock-offs. 'It amazes me the number of stores that are still opening,' says Melvin Chua, who runs Ink Pak, a fashion events business. 'It is not just the size of the stores that are now in Chinese cities, but the product offerings that give you an indication in terms of the growing sophistication of the consumer. Chinese consumers are now a lot more aware of different brands and what they stand for. 'One of the problems is that the market is so complex, and so big, that for a long time people generalised about fashion and made the mistake of thinking that China is one place, with one strategy for the same product. You would not do that if you were in America: in New York, you have a store uptown and downtown, and the stores would be different. 'It is not at its peak yet; we are not even looking at a mature market. I don't think you will see negative growth here for a while.' Later this month, two of the top American-based Chinese designers are due to make visits to the mainland. Jason Wu, who made Michelle Obama's inauguration-ball gown, and Phillip Lim, whose label is growing quickly, are keen to tap into the mainland market.